December 16, 2019

Purdue Engineering Open Bytes™ to provide free access to educational resources in first-of-its-kind offering

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University is developing a first-of-its-kind collection of engineering educational resources that will be available online – for free, or at low cost – to anyone in the world.

Purdue Engineering Open Bytes™ will include high-quality textbooks, case studies, monographs and lecture notes written by College of Engineering faculty members. Through collaboration among the college, Purdue University Libraries and Purdue University Press, the Press will make these materials accessible via open access beginning in mid-2020 to students, professors, working professionals and anyone else interested in engineering. Hardcover editions of books also will be available.

“We are excited to partner with Purdue University Press to launch Purdue Engineering Open Bytes – the first college-wide effort to provide open access to engineering textbooks, and to innovate pedagogically through engineering case studies,” said Mung Chiang, the John A. Edwardson Dean of the College of Engineering. “In keeping with Purdue’s land-grant mission, we envision that for decades, Open Bytes will share high-quality engineering content with anyone in the world who wants to learn engineering, even if the individual cannot study at Purdue.”

Chiang said Open Bytes will advance the College of Engineering’s progress toward the Pinnacle of Excellence at Scale and complement Purdue Online. Alluding to College of Engineering alumnus Neil Armstrong’s historic moon landing, Chiang called Open Bytes “another small step along the winding journey where Purdue Engineering maximizes access and success of learning and innovates in the discovery and dissemination of knowledge.”

“Open Bytes is all about expanding affordability and accessibility,” said John W. Sutherland, PhD, inaugural editor-in-chief of Open Bytes and the Fehsenfeld Family Head of Environmental and Ecological Engineering at Purdue. “With abundant faculty thought leadership across diverse disciplines and subjects, we are enthused to be sharing our knowledge on a global scale.”

Ten textbooks and five case studies are anticipated to launch the series in its first two years.

The first books planned for Open Bytes as EPUBS are:

  • “Zero-Gravity Fluid Mechanics Using Surface Evolver,” by Steven H. Collicott, PhD, professor and associate head for engagement, School of Aeronautics and Astronautics
  • “Sports Industry Technology Innovation,” by Jan-Anders Mansson, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Materials Engineering and Chemical Engineering, and co-director of the Indiana Next Generation Manufacturing Competitiveness Center (IN-MaC)

In addition, case studies will enlighten readers on such subjects as overcoming challenges in manufacturing the Indiana Bicentennial Torch and will provide business cases involving industry partners.

Open Bytes evolved from College of Engineering faculty suggestions and formation of a close partnership connecting the college, Purdue University Libraries and Purdue University Press.

We are pleased to partner with the College of Engineering on this exciting project, which will provide free, global access to engineering educational resources,” said Beth McNeil, dean of Purdue University Libraries. “With open access, anyone can access and use these resources, sparking new ideas, inventions, and innovations that help move the world forward.”

Elaborating on the innovation theme, Justin Race, director of Purdue University Press, said: “University presses have always played a central role in disseminating scholarship beyond the classroom. This partnership is a perfect example of how our press expands that tradition in groundbreaking ways, sharing the excellence found on our campus with the rest of the world.”

Writer: Laura M. Abbott, abbottl@purdue.edu

Sources: Mung Chiang, 765-494-5346, chiang@purdue.edu

John W. Sutherland, 765-496-9697, jwsuther@purdue.edu

Beth McNeil, 765-494-2902, memcneil@purdue.edu

Justin Race, 765-494-8251, racej@purdue.edu

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